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Hearing Postponed for Months for Richland Man Charged With Killing Grandmother

Levi Staver is charged with criminal homicide.

The preliminary hearing for Levi Daniel Staver, has been postponed.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the hearing has been postponed until June 7 before Judge Donna Jo McDaniel, according to court documents.

Staver, 26, is in the Allegheny County Jail; his bail request was denied.

Staver stabbed his grandmother, Connie Johnston, 76, in the back Tuesday morning as she and his grandfather were sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast, Northern Regional Police Chief T. Robert Amman said.

Staver lived with his grandparents and mother at the home in the 3900 block of Gibsonia Road (Route 910). 

His grandfather, the Rev. David Johnston, is the pastor of Lifeline Community Church, which holds its Sunday services at the chapel in Sperling Funeral Home.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Allegheny County Police, Staver said he was sitting at the computer in his bedroom when the archangel directed him to “kill the witch”.

Staver told detectives that he made the sign of the cross, got dressed like a soldier, took a sword and said, “This thing has got to go”, the complaint states.

Allegheny County detectives said Staver used a large, black bowie knife, not a sword, the complaint states.

When speaking to reporters on the day of the homicide, Northern Regional's Amann said police have responded to the house previously, but he was not certain how many times. 

He said Staver had no major criminal background but was arrested about a month ago for retail theft in Cranberry Township.

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Jeff Dunn February 27, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Prayers and wishes for healing to the family.

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